In this final article in this series, I wanted to speak health benefits and creative benefits of walking. With today’s technologies, you can carry everything you need for tracking, and create right on your smartphone. One of the great little apps you can get for your phone are hiking and walking apps that track all sorts of things. Under Armour has a full line for FREE apps that all you to track and map your hikes, walks, runs, etc. You can see more at Map My Fitness. I use the Map My Fitness app, but there are others. So it’s kinda cool to see the map/route you took, plus estimates your calorie use, speed and all sorts of data. You can find these apps at your specific phone app stores. You don’t need one of those expensive bands for your wrist just use the phone.
Being creative – Your phone probably has a camera, so during your walk, take capture some scenes,
do some videos, take a selfie or whatever you feel like doing with your camera. When I walk I talk my DSLR and my phone. Sometimes I’ll snap something with my phone, or use the larger camera. You’ll be surprised what you find. Then share the photos. With all the Social Media and blogging/website technologies available you can build your own online gallery. Share it with your few or everyone. I’ve included some of the images I’ve captured on walks.
Walking has all sorts of health benefits among them the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do. Start where you’re at. Just put on your shoes and head out there. If all you can do is walk for five to ten minutes, start there. It’s a great start and that’s a lot more exercise than you’ve been getting. Stick with it for a week and then see if you can make it for 15 minutes.
If you can go for a 30-minute walk, start there. Pick up the pace, walk briskly and after a week or two, try to go for 45-minute walks. Or break up your walking workout into 3 shorter sessions interspersed throughout your day.
If you have any health conditions and in particular, if you’re suffering from high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease, discuss your walking plans with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a plan that’s appropriate and safe for you.
Getting out and walking will help you on several different levels. The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walk out in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk. That’s a terrific benefit of walking and something that will help you feel better right away. But the benefits don’t stop there.
The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day. As you get stronger those walks will get longer and you may even give swimming or riding a bike a try.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight are some of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension regularly. Add to that the fact that walking helps you de-stress and it’s no wonder that walking regularly has such beneficial effects on your health. Ready to get started? Put on your shoes and go for that first walk. In fact, I just got back from a walk on the Beach in Newport. Here is a link to the results of the tracker app I was talking about. Click Here
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Thanks for reading